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Durham University

Faculty Handbook Archive

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2019-20. The current handbook year is 2021-22

Department: Law

LAW3291: JURISPRUDENCE

Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap Location Durham

Prerequisites

  • Introduction to English Law and Legal Method (LAW 1121) [OR Legal Skills (LAW 1107) AND Legal System of England and Wales (LAW 1117); OR Legal Skills (LAW 1041)]; (at the discretion of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies or delegate, a suitable module from another Department may be substituted for the Law pre-requisite(s)).

Corequisites

  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None

Aims

  • To introduce and critically evaluate the leading theories about law and key debates;
  • To gain a critical understanding about the nature and meaning of law;
  • To gain a critical understanding of legal reasoning;
  • To gain a critical understanding of the concept of rights;
  • To critically evaluate the relation between theory and practice.

Content

  • The module will cover the following topics:
  • 1. Theories about law, including natural law, legal positivism, legal realism and others.
  • 2. Practical reasoning and the law.
  • 3. Key debates about law, including the concepts of authority, legality, rights and other issues.
  • 4. Case studies to illustrate the relation between theory and practice.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will have:
  • Possess a critical understanding about the leading theories of law and their potential relevance to practical issues;
  • Evaluate critically different ideas about practical reasoning and the law;
  • Evaluate critically key debates about law, including the concepts of authority, legality and rights;
  • Gain a familiarity with the relevant literature concerning the relation between theory and practice with reference to current legal issues.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding about the leading theories of law and their potential relevance to practical issues;
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of different ideas about practical reasoning and the law;
  • Possess a critical understanding of key debates about law, including the concepts of authority, legality and rights;
  • Engage in informed debate about the relation between theory and practice with reference to current legal issues.
Key Skills:
  • Students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate developed research and writing skills, including the ability to work independently and to take responsibility for their own learning.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The modes of teaching, learning and assessment have been chosen in order to facilitate the achievement of the learning outcomes of the module.
  • Seminars will concentrate on developing students' knowledge of the subject area and introducing students to the relevant critical, analytical and evaluative skills.
  • The modes of assessment will encourage independent learning and research skills and will examine students' ability to meet the learning outcomes of the module.
  • The examination tests the ability to focus on relevant legal issues and organise knowledge and argument appropriate to questions raised. The examination questions will provide the means for students to demonstrate the acquisition of subject knowledge and the development of their problem-solving skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 12 Fortnightly 2 hours 24
Preparation and reading 176
TOTAL 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination 2hrs 30mins 100%
Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
summative essay 4000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

One 2,000 word essay


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University